Elective Affinities, hors-série: Ourania Panoutsou
by Nandia Foteini Vlachou
Monument to the Conquerors of Space (Moscow, 1964) – Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Lisbon, 1960). Two ventures (the exploration of space and the exploration of the then-unknown world) set wide apart in time (the twentieth century in the Soviet Union, the fifteenth century in Portugal), two very different regimes (the Soviet Union under Khrushchev during communism and the Cold War, Portugal under Salazar during the dictatorship of the Estado Novo), two very different choices in representation: the people versus the protagonists.
[The comparison was suggested by Ourania Panoutsou during her trip to Lisbon. It was she who brought to my attention the Russian monument and pointed to its similarities with the Padrão – the upward thrusting curve of the main structure in both monuments can also be considered comparable, in its abstraction]